New to Mac? How to change your wallpaper and screen saver

Change Mac Wallpaper Screen Saver MacBook Air

As another tutorial in our “New to Mac?” series, we want to help you make your Mac look even more spectacular. Like on Windows, you can pick out a gorgeous background and set a neat screen saver. And you have tons of options for both.

For those new to Mac, here’s how to change your wallpaper and screen saver.

Open your settings by clicking Apple icon > System Preferences from the menu bar or System Preferences in your Dock. Select Desktop & Screen Saver.

Mac System Preferences Desktop Screen Saver

Then, follow the steps below to change your wallpaper or screen saver.

Change your Mac wallpaper

To change your Mac background, click the Desktop button at the top of the Desktop & Screen Saver window.

On the left, you should see options like Apple, Photos, and Folders. Click the arrow to expand an option and then select the wallpaper you’d like to use.

If you select Apple > Desktop Pictures, you’ll see that you can use a Dynamic Desktop. This is a cool way to have the wallpaper effect change throughout the day to match your location.

Mac System Preferences Dynamic Desktop

You might prefer to use a photo for your background, so if you expand Photos, you can pick from folders like Moments, Collections, and Albums. This gives you a great way to personalize your Mac.

After you pick a wallpaper, you don’t have to be stuck with just one background either. For instance, if you select an option from your Photos or Apple Desktop Pictures, you can mark the box at the bottom to change the picture and choose how often in the drop-down box.

And below that, you can mark the box if you’d like the order of those changing pictures to be random or in the order they appear.

Mac System Preferences Change Desktop Wallpaper Every

When you finish, just close the Desktop & Screen Saver window or move onto changing your screen saver.

Change your Mac screen saver

To change your Mac screen saver, click the Screen Saver button at the top of the Desktop & Screen Saver window.

On the right side of the window, pick your Source from the drop-down box. Here again, you can use your own photos if you like by selecting Photo Library or you can pick a default collection like flowers or landscapes. You’ll see a preview of your selection.

Mac System Preferences Screen Saver Source

Once you pick the pictures you want to see, choose an effect on the left side. These are really fun ways to display the pictures for your screen saver. For example, Origami will show the pictures folding away and Shifting Tiles will move the pictures in and out, one at a time. Click each one to see which you like best.

At the bottom, choose when the screen saver should come on, from one minute up to one hour, in the Start after drop-down box.

Mac System Preferences Screen Saver Timing

To the right of that, you can mark the box to show the screen saver with the clock if you like. And if you simply cannot decide which screen saver you want to display, you can mark the random screen saver box.

When you finish, just close the Desktop & Screen Saver window or go back and change your wallpaper as described above.

Wrapping it up

Along with getting used to your Mac and knowing the differences if you’re switching from Windows, you want to make your Mac yours. Picking out a stunning wallpaper and setting a nifty screen saver are just simple ways to personalize your Mac to your liking.

Looking for more Mac background options? Be sure to check out our Wallpapers section. Jim Gresham puts together some awesome wallpaper collections in all sorts of categories from sports to space to Star Wars.